Silver Creek Sourdough
Silver Creek Sourdough owner and baker Louise Ritchie’s story is one that proves that a little passion and a lot of hard work are the recipe for success.
Back in January 2014 she was made redundant an accounting position.
It was a blow at the time but allowed her more time to practise making bread until she discovered it was good enough to sell.
Her sourdough bread baking journey began when she was unhappy with feeding her children store-bought gluten-free products to combat eczema, after a nutritionist deemed her family all gluten intolerant.
“It’s so full of all this other stuff, highly processed and covered in lots of packaging,” she says.
“We did it for a little bit, but it was just disgusting.”
Thankfully she found research that said sourdough fermentation helped with digestion by breaking down the gluten during the long process of its creation.
The starter was created with flour and water on her kitchen bench.
“My family probably have the toughest jaws in the area as I used it very young and made a lot of bricks,” she laughs.
By early 2014 she was getting requests from family and friends to bake for them as well.
The business was registered in March 2014 and continues to grow.
She balances her breadmaking with mother duties, using pockets of time around school times to create, shape and bake.
Silver Creek Sourdough is now stocked in 23 shops and four cafes, two B and Bs and employs three staff.
What she really loves about making bread is the science.
“The science of turning flour, water and salt into bread as opposed to Playdough or Clag,” she says.
“You have to read the environment every day.
“You need to know how ripe the starter is every day.
“You’re at the mercy of the dough, which is exciting.”
She lives at Silver Creek – found between Beechworth and Stanley - and with her initial intention being to sell to the people of Beechworth, it was a nice locally named area that people would recognise.
Her logo is of kangaroo grass, which was used by Indigenous people to grind up and make bread products.
“We now grow it on our nature strip,” she says.